You may have seen Maggie Hoffman's name popping up here on Slice. She's a new hire here at Serious Eats HQ and has been instrumental lately in pumping up the jamz on Slice. Figured it was time to put her in the hot seat here. Why don't you give her a hearty welcome, folks! —The Mgmt.
Name: Maggie Hoffman
Location: New York City (via Oregon)
Occupation: Serious Eats editor
What type of pizza do you prefer?
If the crust is crisp underneath and tender at the edges, I'm happy. I like New York slices, and Neapolitan (to a point, I don't mind a little soupy/meltiness, though I don't really want to eat pizza with a spoon.) I guess my ideal pie is a hybrid of the two.
The Pizza Cognition Theory states that "the first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes ... becomes, for him, pizza." Do you remember your first slice? Where was it from, is the place still around, and if so, does it hold up? On that note, has your taste in pizza evolved over time?
I definitely don't remember the first slice, but childhood pizza experiences were split between birthday parties gobbling doughy Little Caesars pies and my parents bringing home "gourmet" pizza from Pizzicato. This was before Portland's pizza scene got serious.
What's your favorite topping or topping combination?
I am not a big pepperoni lover, but I'm a huge fan of good, fennel-spiced sausage. If there was only one kind of pizza, I'd go with sausage all day long. I'm open to creative toppings, though; I guess I'm not a purist. Eggs on pizza are definitely a yes for me.
Where do you go for pizza in your area?
I have a weakness for John's of Bleecker Street. When we first moved to New York, we spent a lot of time convincing friends to skip egg-and-french-toast brunch for John's pizza in the morning instead. But I'm also a little obsessed with Motorino's clam pie (and the brussels sprouts one.) On weekends, we get slices at Stromboli or South Brooklyn Pizza on First ave.
Do you make pizza at home? If so, how? What recipes do you use?
We have such amazing pizza in the neighborhood that I hesitate to crank the oven to make it myself. (Living in a teeeeeeny apartment, where the kitchen is also our office/living room, it's definitely out of the question unless the weather is cool.) But hanging around Slice is pretty inspiring, so maybe I'll get working on my own pies soon.
What one thing should NEVER go on a pizza?
Canned tuna? But I don't really like it on sandwiches, either.
Most unusual pizza you've ever eaten?
Maybe the mashed potato pizza at Bar in New Haven? Or Paulie Gee's bacon marmalade pie?
What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?
I wouldn't say we went to Rome just for pizza. I mean, there was the gelato and coffee, too. But we definitely made sure to eat pizza every day we were there.